The Deer Hunter (1978)


index“I feel a lot of distance, and I feel far away.” – Michael

Number of Times Seen – 2 (video, 4 Jun 2013)

Brief Synopsis – The effects of  Vietnam on 3 friends before they ship off, during the war and on their return home

My Take on it – WOW! It’s been a really long time since I saw such an intense movie like this.  As powerful as this theme seems 35 years after it came out, I’m sure it was felt even more so by the thousands of Vietnam vets who had returned home in the decade prior to this movie’s release.

This movie has a great cast led by Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, John Cazale and John Savage.

The acting is superb and it’s no wonder that this movie won 5 of 9 Oscars (Picture, Director, Sound, Best Supporting Actor (Walken) and Film Editing.)  DeNiro lost Best Actor to Jon Voight in Coming Home (1978) and Streep lost her Best Supporting Actress bid to Maggie Smith for California Suite (1978). This movie also lost Best Original Screenplay to Coming Home (1978). It also lost Cinematography.

This movie is still relevant today since there are so many soldiers returning from wars overseas who have trouble re-connecting with family and friends based on their experiences there.  They suffer from psychological and physical injuries that are not easily overcome.

Unfortunately, even in the 40+ years since Vietnam, things haven’t changed so much….

Apparently, a Vietnam vet named Jan Scruggs thought of the idea to lobby for a Vietnam Memorial in Washington after seeing this movie.

I’d like to point out that after viewing this, I have changed my view on the Best Picture of the 1970’s.  This movie now ranks higher than The Godfather (1972)

Bottom Line – Very well made movie, but be warned that it’s very powerful. Highly Recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy

14 thoughts on “The Deer Hunter (1978)

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